USC study: Depo-Provera birth control may increase diabetes risk for obese women

JERSEY BUSINESS

Daniel Hulshizer/AP

Registered nurse Sharon Cassady displays some of the contraceptives she dispenses to women at a Planned Parenthood of Central NewJersey clinic in Shrewsbury, N.J., Wednesday, March 17, 2004.

Obese women who take long-term birth control injection Depo-Provera may be at greater risk for developing diabetes, according to a new USC study.

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine found that obese women who received the Depo-Provera injection become more resistant to insulin. That means they were less able to lower their blood sugar levels, which leaves them more susceptible Type 2 Diabetes.

Researchers compared the effects of the drug on 10 obese women and five women of healthier weight. Both groups became more insulin resistant after the injections, but the obese women stayed that way. The others were better able to compensate, by producing more insulin.

Injection-delivered contraceptives, such as Depo-Provera, have been recommended for obese women over oral contraceptives. That’s because obese women are more prone to blood clots, and most birth control pills further increase that risk.

The study suggests that other forms of long-term contraceptives, such as the IUD, may be preferable for obese patients.

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